5 Questions to Help You Set Effective New Year’s Resolutions

January has just begun and many of you may already be struggling to keep
your New Year’s resolutions. Professional Life Coach, Tiffany Peterson, has
five key questions you should ask yourself before you set goals for 2012.

New Year’s Resolutions come every year and tend to begin with zest, passion,
and excitement and all too often fade away into frustration, discouragement,
and flat out abandonment. For many people, they don’t even set New Year’s
resolutions any longer for fear of failure once again. Statistically, 97% of
people have already dropped their resolutions by January 24th – not even a
full month into the New Year.

So how can you be one who sticks to your new goals and resolutions? Begin
by asking the right, tried and true questions to guide your path to success.

1. What do I really want more of in my life?

By taking time to get clear AND honest with ourselves, we are discovering
what we really want, not what we should want. So before you set the typical
same goals that you think you “should” set this New Year, take the time to
ponder and reflect on what you really want to experience more of in your life
this year. Oftentimes we set goals out of things we think we should say or
do, versus really listening to our heart and intuition of what we want. Give
yourself permission to honor what you really want and then capture that
desire in writing.

2. If I were to take 5% more action on this goal/area, what would that look
like? (Think small & doable)

When thinking of any change that you actually want to sustain, think small
and bite size action steps. When goals or resolutions become overwhelming
or go from zero to sixty so to speak, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Overwhelm always equals procrastination. Overwhelm = Procrastination. So
instead think in realistic, smaller steps of change. In asking the 5% more
question, we are looking at small steps or habits that we can actually follow
through on.

3. What is one simple thing I can do each day/week to achieve it?

Consistency is key in creating changes or goals that stick. Similar to question
number 2, we are looking at realistic action. One thing that helps support
and sustain new goal achievement, is when we can make that change into a
habit or ritual that can be done daily or weekly. When we can create a new
habit pattern, we are on the path of success.

4. Are my resolutions/goals specific & measureable? (versus general

Many times when setting new goals or resolutions, it is easy to be general
and vague. Just remember that vague goals produce vague results. So
consider that as you’re exploring what you want to experience more of in
your life, define it as clearly and specifically as possible. If you find words like
“more” “better” “less” take the time to define them. For instance, rather than
saying “I’d like to be a better spouse or be better with money or I want to
exercise more” – take the time to define specifics, such as “Go on a date
night with my spouse once a week or exercise three times each week.” Clear
and measurable goals are easier to follow and to track your progress.

5. How will I be accountable to this resolution/change/goal? (chart, friend,

A friend of mine says that “Accountability, not ability, determines your
results.” We all have desires and we all have talent. You likely already know
plenty to create the life and changes that you want. The challenge is
implementation. Left to ourselves, we likely allow our emotions of the
moment – whether we feel like it or not – dictate our follow through. By
placing accountability in your life, you significantly increase your odds of
creating lasting change. The support and the consistency of focus through
accountability help you to establish new patterns and changes to create the
results you’re wanting.

It’s my opinion that the most important resolution that gets made each
January is the resolution to keep trying in achieving your goals. You will likely
stumble or struggle at points – that’s normal. Rather than give up altogether,
dust yourself off and recommit to what you really want more of in your life.
By utilizing these questions as a guidepost, you will be empowered to
identify and create lasting change that really matters to you.

For more information and free resources on creating your ideal life, visit

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